Saturday, October 20, 2012
TopicPlease feel free to write based on any of the previous few unused topics, or on this one:
This is how I'm broken
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Stupidity.That's our new topic. Derr...
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Today's topic:Armageddon was yesterday, today we have a serious problem...
Monday, October 15, 2012
DrivenAm I the only one who aches to have the power to hurl a red shell at the car in front of me on a daily basis?
Didn't think so.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Saturday, October 13, 2012
The SandwichIt was a little after 2 am. I was walking in Dundee, looking forward to getting home to enjoy my late night sandwich from Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob, and feeling good from a night of successfully funny improvisational comedy and equally enjoyable camaraderie with friends.
I crossed Underwood on the way toward my parked car. I was hoping that no one had opted to take advantage of the open driver's side window to steal any of the myriad items strewn and piled in the back seat. I did not want to be responsible for saddling anyone else with the responsibility of owning an item from that collection of odds and ends that had been growing like a landfill for the last year. The window was only left open because it is easier to reach in through it and open the driver's side door that way than it is to crawl across the passenger side, and no longer at all possible to do it using the external handle.
Some of the items in the back seat might be worth a thief's effort, like the game of Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers that's somewhere in there, or the three or four pair of shoes I assume must be there in their entirety because I can usually see one representative of each set poking out in random places.
Some items I almost wish would be stolen because only theft can save a hoarder from herself. I haven't been able to bring myself to throw away the Tastefully Simple gift box I bought several years ago and I don't have anyone in my life for whom I feel the exact mix of veiled contempt such that I would gift expensive and expired foods to them. The obvious answer is to continue carrying it around in my vehicle and to move it from one vehicle to the next when the first one breaks beyond repair. Only a theft or a fire can break that cycle.
There is also a set of purple butterfly wings that I wore a few months ago to a theme party. Having been left in the pile, they are getting tattered. I admit I am tickled at the thought of pinning a note to them that says "Take these broken wings."
I was halfway across Underwood and most of the way through this reverie when I heard a voice yelling, "What's wrong with you, dick?"
Curious to find out who was being berated loudly at 2 in the morning on a deserted street and why, I turned around and found an off-duty cab driver yelling at me. Apparently, I was the dick.
Seeing that I had acknowledged him, he yelled again "I almost fucking hit you! Watch where the fuck you're going!"
Confused, I looked down to confirm that I was using the crosswalk, and looked up to confirm I was crossing with the light. Both seemed true. The years spent softening the sharp edges of my Brooklyn girl attitude melted away as I shouted right back at him, "I have the fucking light, you ass!"
Now this is the part that truly flummoxes me. He countered with, "It's a fucking STOP sign!"
I had no comeback for this because I was well and truly thrown. Was I wrong when I checked the light? Was it doing that thing that lights do at some intersections late at night and flashing a different set of instructions than the daytime programming? Was the light showing instructions for me to go while it flashed red to him? In the time it took me to survey all of this and determine that I still believed I had the right of way, he had already turned right and driven Dodgeward.
He was gone and with him he took the opportunity for me to determine what he had based his belief that he had a stop sign on, and why that would give him the right of way when there was a pedestrian in the crosswalk. He had interrupted my train of thought, introduced a ridiculous premise, and left without allowing me the satisfaction of telling him off. He had removed the ability to observe the full extent of his insanity. He had even planted a seed of uncertainty, such that even now I am itching to go back and examine the area to try to figure out what the hell he was talking about.
I resumed crossing the empty street, deflated and annoyed. I reached through my window and opened my door, and got in the car. The smell of the food from Amsterdam was pleasant, and mostly replaced the smell of whatever is living beneath the back seat stuff. I plugged my phone charger in and connected the audio, mostly from force of habit. I didn't think I'd be in the mood to listen to my audiobook on the way home, and expected that it would take arrival at my apartment and consumption of lamb meat and spicy sauce to restore my previous level of happiness.
The knock on my window startled me. I looked up to see if it was Cabbie McFuckerson, but it wasn't. (For the record, I doubt that was actually his name anyway. The cab driver neither looked nor sounded Scottish.)
The person at the passenger side window might have been someone I knew. I know a lot of people in this town. To prevent the risk of snubbing someone whom I should greet, I pressed the button to allow the window to open enough to hear what he had to say. He asked, "Can you give me a ride home?"
Given that I was still in Brooklyn mode, I didn't even consider this for a second. Midwestern Jess might hesitate and weigh the probability of risk to her safety against the benefit of doing a good deed for a person. Brooklyn Jess immediately thought, "Fuck no."
Midwestern Jess would eventually have caught up with Brooklyn Jess on the next sentence, however. He finished with "It's just two blocks." The calculations came without effort:
- If he could walk his own happy ass to Beer and Loathing to drink copious amounts of alcohol loudly with his bros, he could wobble back under his own steam too.
- If it was some sort of come-on, that meant he thought he was going to be able to break the ice within two blocks and it would be something on the order of "You're really nice, want to come inside? I have some PBR in the dorm fridge I keep in my bedroom and my roommates can sleep through anything." The night was surreal enough already.
- That left murdering rapist as the last remaining option. Even if he were off duty and I were not an intended victim, I do not give aid and succor to murdering rapists. It's the principle of the thing.
I drove home from the Twilight Zone.
Absentee TopicWith permission, I present:
Missing The Point
It's both a topic, AND an entry!
Friday, October 12, 2012
For the delightful caramel and peanuts.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Topic StealToday's Topic is
Love, the Villain
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Me right around now...
Loneliness, is a highly infectious contagion. In truth, please do not be fool, it’s the idea overload for the senses, the thought of a utopian end, some kind of tranquil majesty to dwell in, reside in a glow of nurturing warmth. It is absurd! Loneliness affects everything, it effects everything. The inescapable monster, the relentless hunter killer, It closes your eyes to an encouraging brightness that just cannot be detected or seen anymore, not when it hits, not when it owns you. I have been alone for years, but I am lonely now for the first time, sorrowful, pathetic, self contemplative in the worse ways imaginable. I am down on myself and all things, I am feeling empty and hopeless with butterflies in the stomach that stop me from feeding, which might help me feel better. It’s rock bottom, but a bottom you cannot see or hear to taste or touch or push away from.
Good lord I am sick of this place, I am sick to death of this despair, I am sick to death of this half life lived while watching the full on living as they burn brighter in their greatest blunders than I ever will at my greatest triumphs. I’m sick to death of Just going along, just getting along, skirting the edges of disaster with no chance of breaking away for good. What is the goddamned point? No one can tell you. They just sit and nod and commiserate and revel in the fact that they’re not required to dispel any myths or rumors or produce any solutions because there technically are no generalized solutions. No one can repair your despair, no one can cure loneliness, no one can give you hope. Since I have nothing left I’ll leave you with nothing at all. If you failed to identify with any and all of this then you’re in a better place, and maybe you’re a better person, and maybe you’ll be lucky to never have the idea overload of prosperity and grace be revealed for what it really is. Maybe you’ll never catch the highly infectious contagion that is the lingering, creeping, grief for a life not at all realized…
Call your mom! ;)
I'm the "Fireman"As problems pop up in the office, I am assigned to handle them leaving others to be able to focus on more mundane tasks. I call myself the fireman cause that is what I do, I put out fires. Not real flames, mind you. I don't really have an issue with this idea but there are times when I simply cannot retain all of the data I need handle all of these issues. My brain simply cannot maintain all the data for the seven or eight different tasks, each with their own unique sets of policies and procedures, that I deal with in less then a half an hour. There are times when I can do it and I'm quite proud of myself when I do it but it happens far to rarely.
My brain tuns to mush. I have evenings in which I don't even want to speak to another living soul.
Luckily, the drive home helps me a lot. To paraphrase Douglas Copeland, "Driving is enforced meditation."
Wednesday TopicFor today, we'll go with...
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
ThoughtIs it possible that thought is contagious? An idea spreads just like a disease?
Ever been in that situation when someone at the office comes up with a simple, yet effective way to handle a problem and they tell someone about it. Soon almost everyone in the office is using that method, except for a couple of standouts. Think about the path something like that takes. First to a new person, then to each of those people share it with someone and so on. Doesn't the vector follow the same kind of distribution as a cold or the flu?
And it can also work with bad thought. Things are not going well and someone mentions a idea and it spreads. Rumors and misinformation also follow the same path.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Infecting the TopicToday's Topic is...
Highly Infectious Contagion
KittensThey turn into cats
And I don't much care for cats
So I hate kittens
Saturday, October 06, 2012
At least she's only a nipper instead of a major chomper, though.
In yer blogz, postin yer topiksFor a late topic today, we shall go with:
PapaPapa used to tell me about his father all the time. That's PA (as in "pass")-paw (as in a dog's "paw"). Well, he told me about every single detail that ever happened to him, right down to how he once stole condoms from the corner store and then sold them for a quarter a piece to seamen on shore leave. (Very lucrative business in those days.)
But I think the stories he told me about his father were the ones that stuck with me above the others. My favorite was how he said his aunt had told him and his sisters that they needed to calm down and not be so rowdy or Santa Claus wouldn't bring them any presents this year. He said his father quite dramatically slapped her and said, "Don't you lie to my kids about no Santa Claus. If you want to lie to them, lie to them about good things like God and Jesus. Don't lie about no Santa Claus." I had a habit as a child of exaggerating the stories I heard, so that may not be quite how he told it, but it's how I've always remembered it.
My grandfather is alive and well today. I speak in the past tense only because a few years ago, an event occurred that changed my grandfather forever. The house he loved and cherished and inhabited for 60 some-odd years caught fire.
As the walls were burning all around him, so were the walls of his mind. The life he had built and perfectly maintained for so many years was warping and turning to ash in front of his eyes. The fire fighters arrived, and my reasonably hysterical grandmother told them her husband and the dog were still in the house. They rushed in to find my grandfather beating at the flames on the walls of the living room with a wet rag. At no point was his brain able to accept that his sacred temple was being defiled by a greedy force of nature that cared nothing for him or the memories hanging in neat little frames all over the walls.
One of the firemen forcibly dragged Papa out of the house, while the others looked everywhere for my grandmother's Satanic dog who hated everyone and hid from them in the farthest corner under a bed in the back of the house. They somehow managed to grab the dog as it fought with it's heart and soul not to be taken, and grabbed every single family photo off the walls on their way out. They then proceeded to put the fire out, which had already burnt a hole in the roof that wrapped through the kitchen, bathroom, and the living room already, without seeming to get so much as a gallon or two of water in the house. The water damage was negligible. Those men from the Houston Fire Department were god damned heroes.
After that, my grandfather's mind started to slowly slip away. The man had been immortal before that day. That was the exact moment that his brain gave up it's noble, unwavering resistance against the forces of time and began to deteriorate. Mema ("ME-maw") started to stress out terribly shortly thereafter, to her own mental detriment. She has since stabilized, after a long and arduous struggle to accept that Papa would never be the same man she had been married to for so many years again.
So that's half of my family. Mema and Papa. They're some of the kindest old coots you'll ever meet. And apart from a few vices and quirks that are near universally shared with minor variation by all grandparents, by most humans anyway, they're really wonderful people. I love them to death, and it will be extremely difficult to accept when they're gone. The other half of my family is myself and my mother.
My grandmother was 40 when my mother was born. My mother was 18 when she had me. So when I was growing up and my mother was as much if not more of a mess than I have been this decade, it almost felt like we were siblings, and Mema and Papa were our parents. Now my mother and I have to find ways to keep my grandparents from hurting themselves or each other, to keep them getting dressed and to keep my grandfather clean shaven. It's like year by year, the dichotomy is being slowly flipped around on us, and suddenly we're the parents, inheriting all the responsibilities therein.
As rough as it's been, it's been a moving experience. My mother and I have both grown psychologically, or spiritually (if you'll permit the term) by leaps and bounds as we've fallen into our new roles, though she's admittedly had the worst of it.
But I still think of all the stories Papa used to tell. Now he only has a new handful that he remembers, and he tells them so many times we can't help but stop him from telling them. It's sad, but life has to go on. As they've gotten less and less present, I've more and more had to come to terms with the fact that my mother and I will soon represent the entirety of my family from top to bottom in my mind. And my friends have become more and more valuable to me as time passes, because I realize that moving forward, my family will consist of my mother, myself, and the people with whom I am able to manage and maintain close relationships with. And as this knowledge has slowly dawned on me, my friends have become ever more precious.
One day, I hope to be a Papa myself, and to tell my grandchildren a hundred stories about my Papa before me.
Friday, October 05, 2012
BloodNot everyone in a family is related, and not everyone you're related to is your family.
Family takes more than blood. It's deeper than that; it's something shared, developed, and forever a part of you. It's the millions upon millions of tiny things connecting you to someone else; the things that make them important no matter what happens.
My mother isn't my mom just because she gave birth to me; she's my mom because of the way she looks out for me and worries over what'll happen to me and what I do even when it exasperates me, or I snap at her. Because of the care she took in raising me, the shelter and protection, of pushing me to do everything I can instead of just what I have to. Because I know that she'll be there to listen whenever I need to drop in a call.
My father isn't my dad because he got my mom pregnant; it's because of how much he put into the family, that he provided for us, and that he was around whenever it was needed. That he knew when to lay down the law on misbehaving, but also when to let things slide, or even encourage something small. That he introduced me to so much of the literature, media, and sources of philosophy that shaped me; that he showed me how to be who I wanted to be, both as an example of things I knew to emulate, but also things I needed to watch myself and avoid.
My brother isn't my brother because he was born to the same parents as me; it's because forgave the stupid stunts I pulled, but also pulled stupid stunts of his own on me. Because he'd needle and make fun of me, but still wouldn't accept that coming from anyone else. Because he introduced me to music I wouldn't have otherwise heard, gave me competition in the things we shared, and because we could enjoy the things we didn't share as well. And because now that we're not kids anymore, he's still there, even when in a different city.
And despite not being relatives, my cloesest are still family; because they shaped who I am, challenged ideas I had, presented new ones to consider, helped me through tough times and relied on me to help with their own problems. Because we trust each other implicitly, and know each other inside and out.
Your family isn't your relatives, because a family isn't just born. It's made, nurtured, and fed every day you have it; it's earned, through what you do for them, and what they'd do for you- just because you are what you are, instead of what you and they can get out of it. I might bicker with family, fight; I've hurt them, and they've hurt me, but in the end that just contributes as much to what we are as all the rest.
They're my family, and I love them all.
The Dinner Club, part two
I was not allowed to attend Grammar school with children my age. When I asked my very distant father on this matter, he told me that it was for my protection. Somehow I did not feel that he was being honest with me even as my young age. My beliefs were confirmed when I unintentionally overheard my parents arguing in their room about me. Mother, a former school teacher herself, insisted I get a former education. Father did not share her convictions. I remember him stating it would be a waste of time because I would never amount to anything because of my deformity. He suggested they put me in a home, away from the world. Thankfully, my Mother won the argument. But it was at a severe cost. I would see my father about five times a year after that. He still lived with us but it was plain that he avoided me. I'm sure his embarrassment was too much of a burden.
Shortly after their argument, Mother introduced me to my tutor, Miss Weatherly. She was a friend of my Mother's during her time as a teacher and they worked together. When I realized I would be getting an education, I set myself to the task. I remembered what my father had said about my future and I wanted to prove him wrong. I wanted to show him I could be a learned man, maybe even a doctor. I learned to love my time with Miss Weatherly, studying topics as quickly, and even more so, then she could present the material. She often told my Mother I was an able student. As I got older, she even suggested that I would finish my education earlier than others my age. Mother would have none of that and I continued to study with Miss Weatherly until I was the proper age for university even though I had learned much more than my peers.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Today's Topic is...Better late than never.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Soul musicMy folks collected records when I was a kid. I remember traveling around looking for the vinyl disks. I think my old man was hoping to score that insanely rare piece of music that was worth millions but he only paid a quarter for. It never happened.
A wonderful side effect of this hobby of their is the love of all types of music it gave me. I was exposed to every genre of tunes that existed at the time. I remember rock and roll from the 50's and 60's. I also remember the soul music from the last 60's and 70's. The Motown sound.
I still enjoy a wide verity of music, wider now then I did then. But there is nothing like soul music.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
I told her I do not believe in soulmates, but it certainly sounds like a romantic notion when she describes her beliefs. She also described important people in her life, the ones who mean a lot to her and guide her as “lights” in an otherwise dark universe. Without ever realizing it before, I completely agree.
Monday, October 01, 2012
More quickly now
I find myself searching
Through the night
The man in the moon
The only friendly face
That I can find
In this unfamiliar landscape
What I wanted
May no longer exist
I fear that the end
ParanoiaThere are definitely a lot of moments in cinematic history that stick with you, haunt you, resurface in the cracks between moments to make you do a full body shiver.
The one that gets the most replay time in my head is the scene in Outbreak where the person in the back sneezes and we watch the droplets scatter all over the theater.